LeBron James is like every other Cavaliers fan, excited for Isaiah Thomas to return to action and make his Cleveland debut. That’s coming soon, as Thomas is already playing 4-on-4 in practice. To prepare for another star to enter a cluttered lineup, LeBron has started playing NBA 2K to learn what will and won’t work with each rotation.
"It’s the most realistic basketball game you could ever play,” James said. “I mix and match a lot of lineup changes to see how we can be really good."
That’s really high praise for the video game — albeit from the guy ranked really high in every category in it — but also gives insight into how ready James is to keep his team’s 12-game winning streak going.
Introducing any new player into a lineup is difficult, but a star presents even more challenges as others have to sacrifice their usual workload. Look at Paul George and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City, and until recently, Dwyane Wade in Cleveland.
The King is already using 2K to plot what might go wrong, because he takes no days off. Even when he’s playing video games to relax, LeBron is doing his homework.